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10 Wedding Costs to Watch Out For

Planning a wedding requires a lot of time, organisation and, most importantly, money. Here are 10 hidden costs to be aware of to help minimise your wedding loan amount, or ensure your big day doesn't break the bank.

1. Tailoring

If only every bride could have her dress fit like a glove the first time around! Even if you’re choosing to wear a pre-loved or heirloom wedding gown, chances are you’ll need to get it tailored.

For all the grooms out there, suits and blazers may also need some adjusting to make sure it's flattering for all the right areas. 

Altering a wedding dress is typically more complex than a regular garment because they are made out of more delicate material like chiffon or heavy silk. Dresses are also often detailed in lace, beading and silks that require a lot of TLC.

You can expect alterations to cost you anywhere from $300 to $1000 depending on the tailor and the amount of work needed.

2. Vendors

When choosing vendors for your wedding, think catering, transport, DJ it is a good idea to do some extra research on suppliers local to the area where you are hosting your event. This will ideally save you some money in delivery costs. A good tip is to ask vendors about additional fees and charges upfront when getting initial quotes.

Looking for a vendor? Check out Wedshed, Australia's #1 online wedding marketplace.

Pro Tip

Shop around to find the right company as some include free delivery and pick up, depending on travel distance.

While these costs can vary significantly, remember to consider additional surcharges for weekends, which can be another unexpected setback.

3. Photography and video

If you're after memories that stand the test of time, nothing beats photography.

Photography cost varies based on how many photos you want, how long your photographer is expected to stay at your wedding and how long the editing process takes.

Ask for total costs upfront and negotiate with your photographer to make sure there are no surprises. Also, discuss overtime fees so both parties are clear on expected working hours.

4. Weather expenses

When it comes to weddings, the show must go on, rain, hail or shine.

If luck doesn’t go your way and it ends up raining on the big day, you might have to deal with last-minute costs for tents to protect you and your guests from the elements.

By preparing ahead of time for any weather on the day, you're more likely to find a reasonably priced option.

5. Thank you gifts

All the special people in your life who have played a major role in your wedding are often given a gift of gratitude for taking part. Examples of common gifts are jewellery, tie pins and cufflinks.

Other examples of appreciated gifts are experiences in the form of a restaurant dinner, a spa treatment or an overnight stay in a hotel.

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However much you decide to spend on thank you gifts is up to you, just make sure to set your budget early on.

6. Overtime

Weddings usually end up going a bit longer than expected – no matter how detailed the schedule is. In some cases, you may have to pay some contractors overtime to make sure the day continues to run smoothly.

Compiling a list of information on how overtime affects the budget is therefore a recommendation to be prepared in advance for potential costs that may arise.

7. Staff meals

You may not be aware, but it is custom wedding etiquette to offer a meal to staff working at your wedding reception. This depends on the venue as some may cover this in total venue costs, but others may not. This can unexpectedly add to your reception venue budget, since costs per head can be pricey.


Be sure to double-check if these costs have already been factored into the price you have been quoted by your venue to avoid unexpected surprises. 

8. Postage

One hidden cost you probably hadn’t thought about or maybe underestimated is postage to invite your guests. It's easy to forget how expensive postage costs are, especially if you’re inviting anyone from overseas.

If you do decide to use "snail mail" instead of digital options like email, you’ll not only need to think about envelopes and stamps but return envelopes for RSVPs.

The size and weight of your invitation cards can play a factor in overall costs as well. If you have a smaller guest list, a couple of hours to spare and are looking to save some money, consider delivering the invitations yourself.

9. Cake cutting

Wedding cakes can be a huge wedding expense, on average costing $537 in Australia. If that wasn’t enough, some venues can add on an additional surcharge to cut and serve the cake during your reception.

This fee is usually charged per slice at $1 to $2.

Let’s say you had 200 guests, you could be forking out up to an extra $400. Ouch.

10. The legal stuff

All fun stuff aside, there is a serious and legally-binding side to the whole wedding affair. Cue the legal – which is anything from lodging your pre-wedding forms and in some cases, preparing pre-nuptial agreements called binding financial agreements in Australia, which will require a lawyer. In some states, you may need to pay any associated fees separate to the cost of hiring a celebrant.

We hope these tips can help you out and if you think a Wisr wedding loan could help you finance the big day, we’re always here to help.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information only, and is not general advice or personal advice. Wisr Services does not recommend any product or service discussed in this article. You must get your own financial, taxation, or legal advice, and understand any risks before considering whether a product or service discussed in this article may be appropriate for you. We have taken reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but the information is subject to change. We may not update the article to reflect any change.

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